Monday, September 19, 2011

Disgaea 4: 20+ Hour Final Checkpoint

Having completed a couple romps through Item World, I decided it was time to continue the main story for a few more chapters. With my powered up characters the story progressed without to much difficulty, the increased power of my characters, and their now upgraded equipment brought the difficulty of the fights back down to a fairly easy level.

Chapter 3: The Story Starts to Solidify
With the introduction of the three main protagonists complete the story starts to move forward. In Disgaea fashion the plot to overthrow the current overlord starts in earnest, and character motivations start to come into focus. The motivations for overthrow are introduced in this chapter, and have a humorously dark twist to them, which emphasizes the setting. The last battle of this Chapter gains another character for your party as well, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in this iteration of Disgaea. The earlier Item World grind paid off, as the last Stage of this chapter requires that you have an item leveled up to 10 from the Item World.

Chapter 4: The End of the Beginning?
This Chapter seems to draw the intro to a close, and starts the main story in earnest. A couple more reveals are made, and each of the story characters have some character building time. With the pieces now in place it feels like the main story is about to begin in earnest.

Closing Thoughts and Overall Opinion:
Having reached the 20 hour checkpoint it's time to give the summary review.

The gameplay seems much improved over previous Disgaea games, with several new additional elements to the game. The online community elements add a sense of scope, and also an element of competition to those so inclined. Item World feels less like a chore with the new events and decisions being made, though make no mistake it's still a bit of a grind. The Cam-Pain map is a brilliant addition, and gives you an extra degree of planning.  

While the story started out slow, Chapter 3 and 4 greatly improved my opinion of the characters, and have introduce a couple more cast members. The increased party interaction seems to greatly improve the story, since it gives you a better view into all of the characters personalities. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

My overall opinion is that this is an excellent addition to the Disgaea franchise. While the series is most certainly not for everyone, I would definitely recommend it for anyone that likes other NISA titles, or those that enjoy other Tactical RPGs like FF: Tactics or Tactical Ogre.  

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